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Reporter, MP and brave bikers make it to Paris

PUBLISHED: 08:53 09 September 2009 | UPDATED: 09:56 13 July 2010

Tired but happy riders reach the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. From left, Phil Webster, Mike Talbot, Norman Lamb, Ned Lamb and Ed Foss.

Tired but happy riders reach the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. From left, Phil Webster, Mike Talbot, Norman Lamb, Ned Lamb and Ed Foss.

A band of cyclists, including a Norfolk MP and a North North News reporter, arrived in Paris on Sunday at the end of a muscle-crunching 280-mile bike ride for charity.

A band of cyclists, including a Norfolk MP and a North North News reporter, arrived in Paris on Sunday at the end of a muscle-crunching 280-mile bike ride for charity.

The Norfolk Nomads, a six-strong team all with connections to the county, left London on Thursday for the four-day Pedal to Paris challenge in aid of the Royal British Legion.

Despite the challenging distances, they made good time through the hardest hills of the route, arriving in Dover in plenty of time for the ferry to Calais.

Along with 170 riders from across the country - including three other Norfolk cyclists - the group arrived at the Arc de Triomphe at 3.10pm, 10 minutes ahead of schedule.

Norman Lamb, who was joined by his son Ned, News reporter Ed Foss, ITV producer Mike Talbot, Phil Webster, political editor of The Times, and Gillian Page, said the group had all cycled up the Champs Elysees with police holding back the traffic and the gathered crowds giving them a warm welcome.

The event is one of only two annual bike rides where the central part of Paris is closed off for the riders - the other is the Tour de France.

An hour after completing the challenge, Mr Lamb said: “It's a great sense of elation now we've actually done it. We're quite sore - my backside is incredibly painful.”

As all the cyclists - which also included RBL county manager Kate Williams, Cromer mayor Hilary Thompson and her friend Jackie Abbs - gathered at the Arc de Triomphe they joined in with a moving ceremony.

Mr Foss said: “We're very happy, but very tired. I'm looking forward to coming home.

“The large numbers of hills - we're told there were far more than in previous years because of route changes - were particularly tough for a group of people mainly used to cycling around Norfolk.

“There were various murmurings about doing it again from within the group, but we made a pact that anything said during the celebratory evening while the adrenalin was still running alongside a little alcohol could be backed out of once we all return to our normal lives!”


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